Your lab results for food sensitivities are in. So now you know what foods you are sensitive to. Now what?! No worries, it is part of my job as your Certified LEAP Therapist to get you started through this process and welcome you back to a world of symptom free living.
New to LEAP?
Getting started on the right foot is key to following a food elimination diet.
Take a look at the full process here.
Most people have a moment of panic when getting the results in their hands for the first time. That is normal. It is overwhelming when you are first looking through it, but, I promise, it gets better. After a few minutes of ooh and ahhing at the results the excitement of feeling better sits in and you might even be giddy to get started.
Many of my LEAP clients have been here, there and everywhere with their diet trying to lock down their problem foods for weeks, days or even years. Eliminating gluten, dairy etc. They are not new to elimination diets and may even see the LEAP protocol as being liberating with all of the possible options in front of them. And FINALLY, we know what to look for when keeping a food log!
Unfortunately, many of my clients have been recording everything that passes their lips without finding those problem foods feeling more and more frustrated. Now we have the tools to expose those foods.
5 Steps to getting started through this intense process of removing food sensitivities.
1. Focus on the foods you can have!
It is human nature to look at those high reactive foods and focus on those. That makes things very stressful and almost impossible to meal plan or grocery shop. Our minds spin with everything that is off the list. Instead focus on your low reactive foods. You will get a full sheet of the least reactive foods- this is your grocery list!
What I like is that it is a balanced diet since it includes all of the food groups- protein, starches, fruit, vegetables, dairy, fats and spices. Once you look here, tons of meal ideas will pop into your head. And if not, no worries, this is what I can help you with. I have done so many of these menus with the ingredients tested so I can come up with a full week of 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners, 7 snack ideas with virtually any phase one of the LEAP protocol. Remember those high reactive foods are not out for the rest of your life. They will be reintroduced in as little as 4-6 months!
2. Give yourself a day or two to take in the results before changing everything upside down.
You can start looking in your pantry at labels, start purchasing new foods from your “grocery list” and start trying some new recipes. Don’t be worried even if it takes you 2 weeks to be ready to jump in full force. Many people see immense change in their symptoms by just eliminating the highest reactive foods and this can be a good way to ease into the process. Remember stress can elevate symptoms and changing your diet can cause stress, be kind to yourself and go at the pace that you need.
3. Get started in the kitchen.
Prep ahead if you have food sensitivities.
Taking a week or two to start prepping the foods in your phase one and freezing them for later use is a great way to make phase one easier on yourself. It will take some of the stress away if the shopping, planning, and cooking are ahead of time allowing you to use your energy to focus on trialing these foods as well as all of the other important areas of your life! Plus this is a great skill for after following your leap protocol!
4. Plan for trips with food sensitivities.
Get started early with planning.
If travel is part of your everyday life we can make LEAP work. It will take some planning ahead. Packing some meals and snacks in a cooler if you are driving, or renting a car if you are flying somewhere. Find out if there is a microwave and fridge in the hotel or if possible to have a kitchenette so you can do more cooking for yourself.
If you will be at conference that provide food, contact the location and the food service company that is catering it. Inquire if they can provide the ingredients, accommodate your needs and if not if they can potentially store and heat your meal if you bring it separately. Map out the closest Whole foods or Trader Joes that will be around you as these places cater to a large variety of foods with simple ingredients that will help you follow your leap plan the closest.
5. Remember to take a look at everything that you consume or products you use.
Think toothpaste, mouthwash, mints, gum, medications, supplements, perfumes, body wash and shampoo. Bring products, labels, or picture of labels to your appointments and we can look together!
Help for food sensitivities
Need some inspiration to help you get more variety into your diet? Check out the LEAP Food Sensitivity Survival Guide! This e-book contains over 30 infographics and recipe guides as well as sample recipes for to help you create simple, customizable, and delicious breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks using the foods your body can tolerate. If you are interested in purchasing the e-book for $19.99 email [email protected]
This book has been updated and it is now called Cooking with Food Sensitivities Survival Guide.
Ready for the next step toward getting started?
Are you interested in finding what foods are causing you inflammation leading to unwanted symptoms such as IBS, migraines, or arthritis?
Read more about Food Sensitivities here.
Blog reviewed and updated March 2020.
Dana uses her advanced training in functional nutrition and food sensitivities to help her clients love and trust food again as they heal from years of painful symptoms that have dominated their lives. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Food Sensitivities Survival Guide.